Skip to Main Content Skip navigation

Citation Styles & Tools: RefWorks

Tools for managing citations and quick help for generating citations.

MLA 9th Edition Manuals In the Library

The library now provides the MLA Handbook online to you!  There are also hard copies on reserve for you to use at the library's front desk. For help with citations, contact Regent's writing coaches.

MLA Examples

Citing a Book

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Norton, 2010.  (add database/URL if it's an e-book and translator after the title if there is one).

Citing a Poem, Essay, Short Story, or Chapter Found in a Book

Frost, Robert. "Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening." Norton Anthology of American Literature, vol. 2.  Edited by Nina Baym, 8th edition, Norton, 2020, p. 732. 

Citing a Journal Article From a Database

Russell, Richard R. “Dante’s Belacqua in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: Marlow’s Journey toward Rejecting Racism.” Conradiana, vol. 47, no. 2, 2018, pp. 133-141. ProQuest,

Citing a News or Magazine Article Online

Pogrebin, Robin. “Scenes Inspired by ‘Don Quixote.’” The New York Times, 2015, Feb 22, 2015. ProQuest,

Web Sources

Author. "Webpage/Article." Website, Year, URL.  

In-Text Citations

Include just the page number or line number (when you've cited the author's or character's name already in the sentence or earlier):

According to John Smith.....(34).

Yeats writes....(3-4).  

Hamlet says,.....(II.3.15).  

When you haven't mentioned the author or are switching to a different author, you can include the author's last name in parentheses:

Some scholars disagree, arguing that... (Gilbert 120). 

Note: you don't need the word "page," "pg.," "line," etc.

MLA Citations Should be Simple 

Notice that MLA is very simple--don't include words like "page" or "line" or "act," and don't include the year or title. Don't include commas.

You can cite an abbreviated title if you are using more than one source by the same author, like (Huckleberrry Finn 25) or (Tom Sawyer 53). 

Year of Publication

If you want to emphasize the year of publication of a work, you can include it after the title of the work, like Emma (1815).  

Block Quotes

It is recommended to use carefully chosen, relevant quotes that are no longer than necessary, but if you really need a quote that is four lines or longer, format it as a block quote: no quotation marks, the entire quote indented .5", and the citation after the period.  


Basics of MLA

To create an MLA citation, fill in as many of the fields below as you can. For journals, be sure you have volume & issue, page numbers, & URL or location.  URLs can be shortened if needed. No publisher is needed for journals.

"Title of Source" refers to a chapter, article, poem, story, or webpage found inside a container, collection, or site, and goes in quotation marks. Containers & stand-alone sources like books, journals, or websites are italicized.

List of core elements

Formatting Titles of Sources Correctly Is Very Important!

Note that long container sources (such as websites, magazines, journals, newspapers, books, databases, series, or albums, which contain smaller sources) are written in italics, while short sources found inside containers (such as articles, chapters, poems, songs, stories, episodes, or webpages) are listed in quotation marks. Capitalize all important words in titles.

For example, the poem "The Second Coming" is from the book The Complete Poems of W. B. Yeats. 

Note the book title is in italics, while the smaller work contained inside the book (the poem) is in "quotation marks."

Remember this rule: Short lines for short works (quotation marks).  Long lines for long works (italics).

Contributors are people like translators and editors who are not the authors but are given credit.

MLA Tools & Web Resources

You can get instant citations in the library's Primo search system or databases. Click on "cite" or the quotation mark icon. However, computers don't always get it right! The citations may contain errors. Check them against the correct format!

To find the final word on citation style, use the MLA handbook or the official MLA website.  Look for the type of source to find the right format (book, e-book, journal article in database, online article, etc.).